[erlang-questions] Time to update programming rules?

Ulf Wiger (TN/EAB) <>
Mon Sep 8 10:42:04 CEST 2008

Edwin Fine skrev:
>     You should not need a Gargantuan cycle-hogging "IDE" to 
 >     paper over mistakes in a design.  Have you studied Meyer's
 >     LACE at all?
> Now hold on a second :)
> Firstly, unless you are running X on a PDP-11/44 or NT on a
 > 286, an IDE like Eclipse is not that much of a big deal.
 > These days there are plenty of spare cycles and memory
 > addresses to hog on a modern development workstation.

I've frequently argued for the use (or at least the preparation
for use) of Eclipse in our projects, but every single time so
far that I've tried to use it myself, I've run into obstacles

- The workstation I tried it on didn't have a compatible version
   of JDK installed (and I lacked the privileges to fix it.)

- The workstation certainly did NOT have enough cycles to spare
   in order to make running Eclipse anything but excruciatingly

- (Most recently) Running Eclipse on my dual-core Vista laptop
   seems to trigger some locking violation in Eclipse, crashing
   the editor every time at startup.

I will admit that I've never been willing to commit more than
a few hours each time to try to get Eclipse working. This
amount of work or less has been perfectly sufficient for trying
out any number of plain editors, none of which were good enough
to lure me away from Emacs, but at least I could quickly get them
to work. I will feel much better about my tacit endorsement of
Eclipse the day I can actually get some work done with it
myself. (:

> Secondly, although I agree that ideally one should not need
 > an IDE to compensate for design errors in a programming language,
 > IDEs are peerless when it comes to supporting computer-aided
 > processes like refactoring.

I'm all for the use of IDEs and other power tools, but in my
experience, early adopters easily forget that a large number
of people will actually be using quite modest hardware - the
kind that the early adopter has piled up in the closet because
he considers it practically useless. I very much like the fact
that you can be very productive in Erlang /without/ an IDE.

I side completely with Richard on this particular issue.

Ulf W

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